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Friday, November 18, 2011
Lions, Tigers, and ... AYP?
I have been holding on to this photo for a few weeks waiting for the right, quiet Friday to share. I was in Blairsville (Union Co) a few weeks back, picked up the local paper and was very entertained with the front page news. After years of wrangling with all the challenges we have in DeKalb, reading these two items made me long for a more simple time and dream of one in our future. I present for your Friday amusement, two headlines you are not likely to see in the DeKalb Champion soon ...
Posted by Kim Gokce at 10:49 PM
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Did those bears pass AYP?!
we had bear sightings here in Dunwoody a couple of months ago, it made the radio & tv news. Was only one bear tho.
I didn't get it...maybe I have NO BRAIN, but I guess "we're off to the see the Wizard" again. As for me, I will opt out this time and figure this thing out for myself.
Are we going to "wake up" out of this dream state and go back to reality. The whole thing with AYP has been about the LOVE OF MONEY and NOT for the love of our children.
Another line from the Wizard of Oz goes something like this: "FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD." That is, the money trail.
FYI, there is one high school in Union County (Union County High). It has around 700 students. There are 53% free and reduced lunch students (last year's data) and 94% of the students are white.
It is admirable that they achieve AYP - with bears, no less! - but their challenges, in my opinion, are nowhere near ours in DCSS.
I think I have been misunderstood (it is often the case). My point in sharing in this was not to be-smirch DeKalb Schools. It was rather to share my longing for a more simple time and a more manageable set of problems.
I am on the front lines every day working with the problems faced by DeKalb Schools and our community - they are definitely NOT trivial.
However, I would also say that we make too many excuses for our school system and our overall student performance. I think that one reason why this is so is that we have lost focus on students and schools and have placed it on managing "the system."
I am one that would rather see "the system" be managed separately from the educational process. For me, it makes more sense for districts as populous and far-flung as DeKalb to have two independent public educational organizations - one responsible for education and one responsible for common services such as landscaping, facilities mgt, transportation, etc. ... while the education would be the responsibility of principles and teachers, not "system leadership."
If DeKalb is ever to be a successful educational "system," it well become so one student, one teacher, and one school at a time. No other scale of program will ever fully succeed.
700 students. Yet another reason why I long for a smaller school system. I would guess that this school has taken full responsibility for the academic success of its students. There are no school system administrators trying to manage an instructional process from afar. They have placed their financial resources where they are needed, in the school building.
Another difference in Union county is less than 4% of their students are English as a second language. They don't have refugees from Africa or any other country unless their refugee are white folk from the city. Despite all that it's great that they are doing well.
22% of their graduating class (Union schools) attended a Georgia college or university in 2010 while 35.2% of DeKalb students attended a Georgia college or university.
Union City is to be congratulated! The entire system Made AYP i 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Very cool stats. 4 out of 5 of their schools are Title 1. They only have 1 non-Title 1 school, an elementary school, WoodyGap High/Elementary .
Contrasting their Title 1 elementary school (Union Elementary School) with their non-Title 1 elementary school shows almost exactly the percentage of students Made AYP regardless of Title 1 or Non-Title 1 status:
Union Elementary School (Title 1):
CRCT Math: 95.2% Meets and Exceeds AYP
CRCT Reading: 97.7% Meets and Exceeds AYP
WoodyGap High/Elementary (Non-Title 1):
CRCT Math: 92.7% Meets and Exceeds AYP
CRCT Reading: 98.8% Meets and Exceeds AYP
Union City average teacher pay ($55,834) exceeds DeKalb ($54,412).
You're right, Kim; the reason I like Lake Woebegone stories is beccause I wish I could live there, too...
All the children date above average.
Bears spotted at the edge of town!
Town Council has heated debate about whether to buy a new dump truck!
TALK OF THE TOWN:
Mrs. Carlson's pie beat out Mrs. Lundgren's, and Mrs. Lundgren was not gracious about it!
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